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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - The Gecko: 24 November, 2000

The Gecko: 24 November, 2000

Marketing wizards have been working overtime and perhaps consuming some of their

own product in the process. Aged to perfection, a pint bottle of Scottish "Booze"

is now available in local shops for the special promotional price of only 2,000 riel.

The saga of Irina Godlevskaja, like many a Russian tale, is the stuff of epic proportions

a la Dr Zhivago. It starts back in Tashkent over 20 years ago when Gunaedy entered

the scene and love was in the air.


Fast forward more than a decade and we find Irina in Takmau with a lion in her

backyard and a daughter on the loose. It's unclear what happened to the cat but Irina

moved on to stints at the now-defunct Russian Club, then Sharkey's, followed by a

brief tenure at the never-quite-made-it Russian Restaurant in the Dusit Hotel, all

the while serving up the best borscht in town.

Undeterred, Irina has just resurfaced with her own potential pot of gold on Street

228 just off Norodom.

Equidistant from the US Embassy and the Russian Cultural Center, she hopes her garden

café of tranquility will lure former Cold Warriors in for a bowl of stuffed

cabbage and home-baked bread. It should as her food is great.

Asked if she will keep a healthy stock of Stoli on the shelf, the queen of Russian

cuisine cooly replies, "We must to have it."

Concerned nationalists want to know why the departure tax for domestic flights can

ONLY be paid in dollars.



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